Getting to Know the Editorial Board
Guilherme (Gui) Ferreira Dos Santos
Please see here for past editions of this section. Guilherme (Gui) Ferreira Dos Santos, MD, MSc, is a senior specialist in pain medicine in the division of pain medicine in the department of Anesthesiology, Reanimation, and Pain Medicine at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona at the University of Barcelona in Spain. What is your primary specialty, and what led you to choose it? I started in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) and later transitioned into interventional pain medicine. Early in my PM&R residency, I was offered a clinical research scholarship in the department of pain medicine at Mayo Clinic under Mark Friedrich Hurdle, MD. It was my first experience with interventional pain medicine, and I have never looked back. What do you like best about your job? What gets you excited about going to work? The most satisfying part of my job is being able to help those who have been dealing with chronic pain for years. Currently, a substantial part of my time is dedicated to clinical research and teaching activities, but my clinical duties as a pain interventionist are still what get me up in the morning. How and when did you get involved with the journal? I got involved as an author first, during my time at Mayo Clinic. I was involved in several research projects related to the use of ultrasound guidance as an alternative to fluoroscopy guidance in pain medicine, working with the team of Dr. Hurdle and Steven R. Clendenen, MD. I was lucky to have some of our work published in RAPM at the time (2019-2022). Later, when I was about to graduate from my fellowship program at the University of Toronto, one of my mentors, Phillip Peng, MBBS, encouraged me to apply for the editorial board. Anuj Bhatia, MD PhD, my division chair at the University of Toronto, supported me in that process, and here I am! Do you feel that your work with RAPM has had an impact on your career and if so, how? Being involved with such a high-impact journal has certainly helped me throughout my career (although I’m still in the early stages). It has helped me get a position in a highly competitive fellowship program in pain medicine at the University of Toronto, and it helped me land my first staff position at the division of pain medicine at Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, where I am working now. It opened a lot of doors, professionally. What advice do you have for others interested in getting involved with serving on the editorial board of scientific journals? Finding mentors was crucial for me. I’ve always loved doing clinical research, but when I was taking my first steps in pain medicine, it was hard to know where the field was moving and what new avenues of research were worth pursuing (versus recycling old knowledge). Working with international experts who have been in the field for 20 or 30 years helped me a lot. Is there anything you’d like to tell authors submitting articles to the journal... advice for writing good articles or maybe a pet peeve you wish authors wouldn’t do? Sometimes, after we get our manuscripts denied for publication a couple of times in a row in high-impact journals, it may feel discouraging. We may start to question the value of our own work. Whenever I get a manuscript rejected, I don’t do any work on it for the first week. Taking a week from that project helps me analyze things more clearly when I get back to working on it. For that same reason, I try to be as careful and respectful as possible in my roles as reviewer and associate editor. What has been your proudest career moment? My proudest career moment was being offered a position and later graduating from my clinical fellowship program in pain medicine at the University of Toronto. It’s a very competitive program, with a lot of brilliant people (junior and senior) who apply from all over the world. It was also the turning point in my career in many ways. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the field of regional anesthesia and pain medicine today? We face a few challenges in pain medicine. Off the top of my head, the three biggest are: 1) Finding clinically applicable biomarkers that allow us to have objective measurements of the intensity of pain 2) Improving patient selection criteria for interventions (we “proceduralize” a lot of patients without a clear, definitive diagnosis); sacroiliac joint interventions (as a whole) is a good example 3) Establishing international consensus and regulation on the adequate use of autologous, cryopreserved, and allogeneic biological products. The word “orthobiologics,” for example, says very little about the field, the interventions, and the type of products being utilized. We need better terminology and regulation that punishes clinically obscure practices while not restricting intellectually honest clinical research. What one word describes you? Dedicated What do you enjoy doing outside of work and why? My professional career has been spent working in many different places: Portugal (where I’m originally from and where I started), the United States, Canada, and now Spain. That comes with a lot of time away from family and friends. Most of my free time now is dedicated to the people who are most important to me, particularly my fiancée (Emily).